UT to Community: Drop Dead
Thank you, Jack Neely, for expressing what many of us feel about the UTK administration's lack of concern for the community on which it depends ["An Open Letter to J. Wade Gilley," Vol. 9, No. 35]. I add only that there is a structural condition that has dismembered the once proud community.
Before Joe Johnson, only the UT Athletic Department was an independent community. Last year it received about $50 million in revenue. It alone decides on what it will spend its huge sums. (Where does all that money go?) J.J. extended such independent status on virtually all units. The Parking Service, which is in charge of all traffic, makes money from automobiles. Thus it builds garages, raises the fees on parking, issues more permits than spaces, and writes as many tickets as possible in a very successful endeavor to make as much money as possible in order to build more garages, level more houses for parking lots... Since they can't find any way to make money off cyclists and pedestrians, they are totally neglected.
Required to be self-financing under J.J., the library has few revenue sources and therefore must cut acquisitions, staff, hours of operation, and everything else. Faculty are also unable to support themselves so cuts here are necessary as well.
Thus, the result of J.J.'s administration of the university as a grocery store produces lavish athletics and auto facilities and impoverished everything else; little wonder there is no community left.
Samuel U. Wallace,
Les DuLunch's restaurant rant-ings went too far in taking a swipe at a Hard Rock Cafe waitress just because her hips suggested childbirth ["Variations on a Theme Restaurant," Vol. 9, No. 38]. Surely Les is not anti-mother. Please, let's not dismiss human beings as easily as we dismiss Gatlin-Forge tackiness and tourist food.
Ed. Note: Les would like to make it clear that he did not intend to dis motherhoodrather, he meant to suggest that the management might reconsider forcing all its waitresses to wear those particular outfits.
Your article on funerals ["Grave Decisions" by Joe Tarr, Vol. 9, No. 33] covered an industry that sooner or later affects us all. I would urge anyone interested in a more in-depth anatomy of America's outrageous funeral practices to read The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford, an extraordinary work that reviews our excesses in all matters funerary.